Up until April 2008 it was essential to apply for planning permission before having solar panels fitted. However as the government looked to encourage people to buy into renewable energy they removed the requirement of planning permission to make it easier to install solar panels.
The only requirement which must be fulfilled when fitting solar panels is that the panels should not be installed above the ridgeline and should project no more than 200mm from the roof or wall surface.
If you live in a a-listed building or a conservation area then you will need to gain planning permission before installing. You should check with your installer before agreeing to have the work carried out.
The number of Solar Panels you have on your roof is determined by several key factors. Each of these factors plays a role in helping you decide on the number of Solar Panels you should fit on your roof.
Size of your roof
The most obvious factor determining how many Solar Panels you should fit on your roof is the size of your roof. If you can only fit eight panels on your roof then you are limited to eight panels.
When estimating the number of panels you can fit on your roof you should consider laying the panels both Portrait and Landscape.
The number of solar panels you have fitted obviously has a direct impact on the initial cost of having the system installed. However it is worth remembering that you are unlikely to have more panels added to your system once it has been fitted.
The solar panels themselves are relatively inexpensive with a large part of the installation cost going on tradesman and scaffolding.
The government has introduced the Feed-in Tariff to incentivise people to produce their own electricity. However the tariff has different tiers depending on the size of your renewable energy system.
The highest tier of the Feed-in Tariff is available up to 4 kW systems therefore its less cost effective to exceed this system size unless you are looking to get a system size of between 8 – 10 kW.
Overall it is advisable to get as many Solar Panels as you can on your roof without exceeding the 4 kW system size as you are unlikely to add more panels once it has been installed. Soon we will be adding a roof size calculator to our website so check back soon to calculate the size of your roof.
If you are thinking about getting Solar Panels fitted to your roof you are probably feeling a little bit skeptical about the amount of electricity your renewable energy system will produce.
Solar Panel installations are still relatively new and therefore only a selection of the data available is fact, the rest is estimates. Although we cannot change this we can improve the chances of gaining maximum electricity from our Solar PV System.
Tips to getting the most out of your Solar Panels
Position the Solar Panels as close to South as possible
Ensure the panels are tilted corrected, 30 – 40 degrees is recommended in the UK
Position the panels in a place which is free from shading (over hanging trees etc)
Only use MCS approved solar panels
Use higher grade cells as this produces solar panels with high efficiencies which generate more electricity
Wipe down panels once a year to remove any tough debris
If all of the above points are followed you will maximise the chances of gaining maximum electricity from your system over a prolonged period of time.